Pretoria – 7 November 2011 – Team Ford Racing turned on the heat at Zwartkops Raceway (Pretoria West), claiming wins in all three races and extending their lead in Class T of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship.
Although not topping the timesheets, the team were well on the pace during Friday’s practice sessions. Saturday’s qualifying saw Shaun Duminy second on the grid with Gary Formato third. Andrea Bate was further back in sixth.
Formato got a good run from the first rolling start, immediately taking up second place from Duminy. He proceeded to challenge for the lead and was up to first position by the end of the first lap. Duminy followed in second and the BP / Castrol Ford Focus ST duo held this formation across the finish line. Bate finished seventh.
The second race began with the top four finishers being inverted on the grid. This placed Duminy third and Formato fourth. It took Formato just two laps to take the race lead. After a difficult start, Duminy dropped down to fifth place. He drove with heart and determination and by lap five, he had worked his way up to second, ensuring another 1 – 2 finish for Team Ford Racing. Bate struggled in the heat to another seventh place finish.
The two hour endurance race was filled with excitement, but the team were well aware of the double points which were at stake. Based on the race one lap times, Formato started on pole position with Duminy third. Duminy was the first to pit, handing the reigns over to Graham Donker on lap 23. Donker made an unscheduled stop 12 laps later with a puncture and Duminy got back into the driver’s seat.
In the meantime, things were running smoothly for Formato. He handed the driving responsibilities over to Garth Waberski on lap 26. Waberski pitted 20 laps later, handing the Ford back to Formato for the remainder of the race. Formato made one more fuel stop before taking the team to another victory.
Duminy completed another 42 laps before making his final pit stop. Donker took the Ford across the finish line in fourth position.
Naomi Schiff started the endurance race in the third BP / Castrol Ford Focus ST, completing ten laps before retiring with a damaged gearbox.
Formato now leads the championship by 20 points going into the final round of the WesBank Super Series at Zwartkops on 26 November.